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$4.5M Settlement for Mother, 3 Children Killed While Lawfully Crossing Roosevelt Boulevard

After four years of contentious litigation, justice was finally served in the tragic deaths of a mother and her three children who were struck and killed while lawfully using a crosswalk on Roosevelt Boulevard that was not controlled by any traffic light or traffic control signal.

Attorneys John M. Dodig and Jason A. Daria secured a pre-trial settlement of $4.5 million on Sept. 9, 2019,  on behalf of the family of 27-year-old Samara Banks and three of her children for the fatal July 16, 2013, accident that helped shine a spotlight on a dangerous condition that was created when the City of Philadelphia in 1983 removed traffic signals protecting pedestrians crossing in a mid-block crosswalk near 2nd Street. The crosswalk was designated by cement sidewalks across the medians separating the inner and outer drives of the Boulevard, serving as an invitation for Banks and her children to cross at that location. A limited sightline at that location also created a significant hazard to pedestrians.

Despite several subsequent studies and construction projects that were performed on the Boulevard to enhance pedestrian safety, the dangerous conditions were never rectified.

The case was hotly contested, with the defense relying strongly on the fact that the defendant drivers were drag racing and speeding, and they were criminally convicted on serious charges related to the accident.

Banks’ oldest son, who was 5 years old at the time, as well as Banks’ sister, were walking ahead of Banks and her younger children and survived the crash.

The case marks the third lawsuit that Dodig and Daria have brought in recent years on behalf of pedestrians injured and killed while attempting to cross the dangerous roadway. In February 2000, a 13-year-old suffered traumatic injuries, including permanent brain damage, when he was hit as he attempted to cross 12-lanes of Boulevard traffic near St. Vincent Street. Four years later, on Easter Sunday, another 13-year-old was struck and killed while attempting to cross near Princeton Avenue. Dodig and Daria successfully settled both of those cases.